Devon Park Has Owling Success

Soft landing: the newly hatched burrowing owls will be forming a close bond with the park's professional falconers
Soft landing: the newly hatched burrowing owls will be forming a close bond with the park's professional falconers

Friday, 09, Feb 2018 10:42

By William Coleman

England is a nation of bird lovers. Weather you're partial a Robin Red Breast, a Chaffinch or a Bird of Prey we have something for everyone. My particular favorite native bird has to be the owl and that is why story really stuck out for me. Disclaimer- These owls are an American import and not a native owl, but i love owls. End of disclaimer.

Recently, at Woodlands Family Theme Park near Dartmouth in Devon, two owl chicks hatched and will now me thrust to fame by joining the parks flying display team. The two chicks, who have been named Ernie and Els, will be joining there mum and dad at the sites popular falconry centre. The parents of the new hatchlings, Bonnie and Clyde, are a family favourite at the park's zoo far which also houses a whole host of other heart melting creatures both great and small.

The baby burrowing owls are the first chicks hatched by Bonnie and Clyde since they arrived at Woodlands three years ago. The burrowing owl is native to the North and South Americas and are so called because they live in burrows underground. They also use burrowing as a method of catching prey, as they will dig out something to eat and use the prey's howl has a home.

They were named by Woodland's falconer and keen golf player Lyn Goss after the South African golfer Ernie Els on whose birthday the first of the owls hatched in January.

Lyn and head falconer Gail Greenwood will now be looking to build a close and special bond with Ernie and Els, as they have with other residents of the falconry centre.

In doing so, they will win the trust of the birds as they are trained to earn their wings and become fully fledged members of the flying display team at the park.

Set in 90 acres of Devon countryside, the family-run park is a wildlife wonderland with its ever-growing menagerie of domestic and exotic species, and 40-plus birds of prey.

Among Woodlands' many other attractions is a dinosaur park complete with prehistoric monsters which recreates the sights and sounds of a landscape more than 160 million years ago.

A member of the Best of British parks group, Woodlands' accolades include the Alan Rogers "Best Family Campsite in Europe" award, and the "AA Campsite of the Year" award.

So if you, like myself, love Devon for its wildlife and idyllic holiday locations this spot certainly combines the two. I would find it hard not to stay at a holiday park that t has a zoo on its grounds.

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